Sybil’s “Christmases (and OTHER Holidays) Past!”… Thank you, Hanukkah!

Sybil Hanukaah Dreidl Collage (765E).jpg

Darlings!! I hope your Hanukkah is going beautifully!! And what a clever Holiday too.... Several days of celebration with a different theme each day so if you're a bit cranky one night, you can always cheer up on the next! None of that one-shot-and-you're-done-Christmas-nonsense.

My own mother, whom I've told you all about repeatedly, often was perfectly vile, most especially on Holidays, and if you had a rotten one, well..... tough luck. I'm reminded of the time she dressed as Pochahontas (or as she called herself "Poke-My-Hontas") for a huge Thanksgiving we had been planning for months. She insisted on reciting the entire length of Longfellow's "The Song Of Hiawatha" with an emphasis on the "Loooooong".... and when she got to the line about "Gitchee Gumee", my 5 year old niece couldn't resist yelling out, "You certainly ARE GINCHY GLOOMY, GRANDMA!" at which point a mince pie fight broke out.... Victims were finding raisins and currents in the most embarrassing places for days afterwards…. Mostly in their…um… ginchies…

On one particular Christmas, Mother dressed as Santa Claus with a huge sack full of toys, and the entire family thought her medications had finally rendered us a joyous holiday..... but she insisted in coming down the chimney where she had set a fire just minutes before. She managed to burn the entire house and the adjoining garden sheds and arboretum to the ground. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, not even her, but when we had her taken away to Bellevue at midnight, she told the nice ambulance attendants that she wasn't Santa, but rather a giant chestnut and that Mel Tormé had told her to roast herself. At that point, she actually DID look like some sort of nut that had been exposed to the elements, although she appreciated that the strait-jacket was slimming!

...anyway, I want to say a big "Thank you!" to all my Jewish friends for their sensible approach to a Winter holiday.... There of course, is STILL the problem of the traditional menorah and all those candles, but we've solved it by confining Mother to a sweet little flashlight-menorah that the nice Campfire Girls rigged up for us as part of their "Fire-Safety for Fretful Families Jamboree". Sadly, their cookies don't compare.....  

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